This Apulian old town town was repopulated in the Middle Ages by the inhabitants of Egnazia, which had been razed to the ground. Monopoli was a flourishing sea port in Byzantine and Norman times, although its strategic position made it the object of regular pirate attacks.
A bishopric in the XI century, it was occupied by the Venetians in 1456 and 50 years later by the Spanish, who stregthened the castle.
The old town of Monopoli, so evidently medieval, is still sorrounded by the bastions which the Aragonese built to protect it from raiders coming from the sea. The town underwent further development in the Baroque period when a number of churches were built, others, such as the Cathedral, reconstructed, and a series of noble residence of the Palmieri family is one of these.
Monopoli's Cathedral was founded in 1107 nut completely rebuilt in the XVIII century, Its imposing facade provides a dramatic backdrop to the square. It too was redisegned in the XVIII century, in a typically Baroque style. Inside the Cathedral there are a number of valuable paintings by Carlo Rosa, Franceso de Mura and Palma the Younger. The belfry with its vaulted ceiling has a majestic beauty.
The Chatedral sacristy houses a small museum containing fragments of stonecarving from the earlier Romanesque church, including a beautiful archivolt decorated by 12 angel heads.
The Castle goes back to Aragonese times and stands in the coast near the port, It is poligonal and the set off by a round tower. Among the many churches, Del Purgatorio, S. Domenico, S. Angelo, a visit should be paid to S. Maria Amalftana biult in the XII century in the site of an earlier cave settlment. It has a fine BAroque facade, while interior, the sides and the apse belong to the original structure. It is possible to visit interesting rock- churches in the area around Monopoli and some fortified farms, "le masserie". The freascoed crypt of S. Procopio in the "Assunta" locality", is one of the most beautiful underground churches in the region. According to an inscription at the entrance, it was built by the Deacon Giovanni in the XII century.
An outside staircase in different levels, a loggia with three arches and a lovely church are the special features of Masseria Spina on the old provincial road from Bari. Not far away lies Masseria Spina Piccola, protected by walls befitting a true XVII century fort.
A visit to the beach of S. Stefano, which takes its name from a benedectne Abbey, founded here in 1086.
Direction South you'll find the zone called "Capitolo", the coastline of beaches that will give you an unforgettable holiday of relaxation, sea and fun.